The "Gold Coast" is one of the few English-speaking countries of the subregion of West Africa. Nestled between countries with very different cultures and with many natural resources like gold that had given him his name, he was subjected to multiple influences throughout its history.
Ghana is not in connection with the empire of the same name. What is known about its history is often fragmented because of epidemics that disrupted the oral transmission in the fourteenth century. But we find fortified places dating from the seventh to the fourteenth century. The first Portuguese ships arrived in 1471 and started trading gold and slaves. Then, 1637 came the Dutchman, who will transfer their holdings to the English in 1870. they colonize the interior of the country, including the Ashanti region. This settlement will keep the name "Gold Coast" until its independence in 1957.
One of the leading politicians in the history of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah was: pillar of independence from the English, he advocated Pan-Africanism, anti-communism and the Africanization of the administration. It will develop the country by selling the excess cocoa and reinvest in education and health. But modernization will result in too rapid deterioration of socio-economic and push Nkrumah to repress opposition. It moves away from democracy and favored a dictatorship more repressive. It will lose its international allies because of its management and its political orientation close to the Communist. During a trip to China in 1966, his opponents took power but may not offer any resistance.
Politics and Economy
The current president is John Atta Mills, who took power in 2009 after a presidential election hailed for its democratic character.
Ghana is part of the Commonwealth.
The country is divided into 10 regions: Kumasi, Sunyani, Cape Coast, Bolgatanga, Accra, Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi, Koforidua, Ho and Wa
Its economy is based on agriculture, but the country has many mineral resources and has developed its industry more than many countries of the continent. Ghana will soon become oil producer, after the discovery in 2007 of significant offshore oil resources.
Geography and Climate
With a territory of 238,540 km2 and is surrounded by three neighbors - Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire - Ghana is a country of forests. Its very tropical climate provides a natural resource of wood very important.
Ghana is also home to a vast body of water, Lake Volta, formed by three tributaries that arise in Côte d'Ivoire: the Black Volta, the Red and White. It ends in the river which empties into the Gulf of Guinea.
Its climate is both tropical and equatorial (the country is only 400 km from the Equator), so rather wet. The North and South have very different climatic conditions in large part because of the Gulf of Guinea. temperatures and precipitation also vary. The country has two dry seasons and two wet seasons.
The tourist season is soft in the period between August and February after the rains start in May but before the hot weather in March.
Peoples: languages and religions
The number of peoples and ethnic groups in Ghana is over 70, none of which are numerically dominant, the largest accounting for only 13% of a population of 22 million.
We can name most of the people, by numbers:
Akan Asante, Fante Akan, Ewe, Brong, Daagaba, Dangme, Dagomba, ...
Thus the official language is English but Ghana is "associate member" of the Francophonie, probably because of the influence of its neighbors. Other major languages are based on the Kwa and Gur groups, giving the Akan languages, Ewe, Abron, Dagari, Ga ...
In these ethnic groups, religions are divided with 63% of Christianity (Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian), towards the coast. Islam is now at 25%, further north. But nearly 30% of the population practice a traditional religion.
Cultures and Traditions
The mixture of cultures without dominance has encouraged the spread of knowledge among ethnic groups.
The Kente cloth is a symbol of the hierarchical system of Ghana, which remains strong in southern and central regions of the country, particularly in areas populated by members of the Ashanti tribe, culturally and politically dominant. Its leader, known as the Asantehene, is perhaps the most revered person in the central part of the country. Like other Ghanaian chiefs, he wears a bright colored Kente, gold bracelets, rings and amulets, and it is always accompanied by numerous ornate umbrellas (which are also a symbol for head). The most sacred symbol of the Ashanti people is the Golden Stool, a small golden throne in which the spirits of ancestors are supposed to reside. It is carefully kept in Kumasi, the cultural capital of the Ashanti people and the seat of the Asantehene's palace. Although the title of head across Ghana has been weakened by allegations of corruption and cooperation with colonial oppression, it remains a vibrant institution in Ghana.
Two Ghanaian craft specialties stand out from others:
- The Kente cloth, very appreciated for its color and its symbolism. Made by many artisans across the country, choice of colors and patterns by the weaver and the buyer is very important because the symbol has a special meaning woven into the culture of Ghana. Very popular among the Ashanti, their leaders should wear bright colors.
- The work of gold: lots of bracelets, rings and other shiny objects that proves the social significance of the wearer. Until the "Golden Stool" ultimate symbol of power among the Ashanti, there is a small golden throne in which the ancestors are supposed to reside. It is carefully preserved in Kumasi.
The craft is also common to other forms of surrounding countries.
Related to lifestyles and beliefs, they are all forms in a variety of materials: wood, stone, clay, fabric, leather, metals, semi-precious stones, fiber basketry ...
They are objects of beauty and decoration, or take a mystique for sacrifices, invocations of gods or magic.
Alloco, atieke, millet, yams, cassava (pounded to make fufu) and rice accompanied by sauces of meat or fish: kontomere, okro, ...
In the South, there are palm wine ..
In Ghana, customized trips
Beyond travel on this site, the customized travel offers another opportunity for those who prefer to leave the family, with a small group of friends who want to choose their departure date and duration of their trip.
Feel free to contact us, our expertise and our ideas are to serve your wishes.
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